Every driver of a motor vehicle bears the responsibility to hit the road with a conscientious mindset. And few drivers understand the amount of caution necessary for safe driving like commercial truck drivers. Unfortunately, despite their experience and expertise, operators of commercial vehicles are not exempt from mistakes or other actions that can lead to a car wreck.
So, what happens when a truck is involved in an accident? Do they pay? How can you be sure they are at fault? This post will answer these and other questions you may have regarding the complex matters surrounding truck accidents.
Fault Is Not Always a Simple Matter
While there are certainly situations where the truck driver will be liable for injuries in an accident, it is important to first talk about fault in these cases. Few auto accident types are as complex as those related to truck accidents. The reason for this is that several parties are involved in the shipment of goods, not just the driver.
In a typical accident, you will have two or three drivers involved who become the focal point of questions of liability. Of course, it is possible a vehicle malfunctioned and the question of whether a manufacturer is to blame will hang in the air. Still, while no accident is simple, adding a supply chain into the mix can create headaches for accident victims seeking compensation.
Improper loading, for example, can cause debris or products to fall from the trailer of an 18-wheeler. Your attorney and the involved insurance companies, in this case, may need to investigate whether negligence was at play at the shipping facility. And then there are faulty parts and maintenance that can affect the truck’s operation, potentially causing the accident itself. All that to say, there are several more parties at play in this situation than in an everyday car accident.
So, Who Pays?
To make things simple, suppose that the driver was at fault for the accident – pure and simple. In that case, either the insurance of the company employing the driver would compensate for injuries or the company itself. However, if the driver was a contractor for the company during the time of the accident, then you would need to make a claim with the driver’s insurance.
As this post has mentioned, these are rarely open and shut cases. If you were in an auto accident involving a commercial truck, it’s imperative that you discuss your options with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Understanding Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence System
There is also, of course, the question of whether you were at partial fault for the accident. Florida is a pure comparative negligence system. This means that partial fault does not disqualify you from seeking compensation for your accident injuries.
To be more specific: In the state of Florida, the amount of possible compensation you can obtain in a personal injury case is deducted by the percentage of fault you bear for the accident. Have you been found 30% at fault in a case which may normally award upwards of $50,000? Then you may only obtain a maximum 70% of that $50,000 – so $35,000.
What Will My Compensation Cover in a Truck Accident?
The types of compensation you may obtain in a truck accident will depend on the types of losses you experienced due to the accident injuries. Such compensation may include:
- Medical expenses including rehabilitation, x-rays, and other necessary services
- Lost pay from missing work hours due to the injury
- General pain and suffering damages
Note that your compensation isn’t necessarily limited to the above list. Those are the typical forms of compensation, but it’s possible you may obtain for other losses – as long as those losses are related to the accident.
Learn More from a Miami Truck Accident Attorney
At Aigen Law Firm, we understand that accidents involving big rigs, trucks, and tractor trailers are nothing to take lightly. Firm founder and attorney, Scott Aigen, Esq., has years of experience representing victims of serious accidents throughout Miami and beyond. His time speaking on behalf of injured clients in and out of the courtroom has prepared him for the most complex truck accident cases.
To learn more about your options after a motor vehicle accident or to speak with an attorney to better understand how you may obtain personal injury compensation, contact our office for a free case evaluation.